A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has suspended the alleged N7.9 billion fraud trial of former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah.
The planned arraignment of Oduah for Thursday, June 15, was put on hold by Justice Inyang Ekwo over alleged threat to his life by yet to be identified persons.
At Thursday’s proceedings, the judge brought out a publication by a corporate organisation in which his life was severely threatened over the planned trial.
Ekwo, who was visibly angry over the development, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), prosecuting Oduah to fish out those behind the corporate body and bring them before the court.
The judge also ordered the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court in charge of litigation to liaise with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), to obtain the identities of the promoters of the offending organisation for the purpose of arresting them.
Ekwo said that sanctity of the court must be maintained, adding that Nigeria is not a banana republic or animal kingdom where acts of lawlessness can be condoned.
Reacting, Counsel to EFCC, Mr Ofem Uket, expressed sadness over the development and vowed that the anti-graft agency would do the needful to bring the culprits to book.
He, however, prayed the court not to allow unknown persons acting as external third party to scuttle the trial.
Based on the promise of the EFCC to fish out those threatening his life, Ekwo fixed July 17, for report of the CAC on the owners of the organisation and EFCC’S bid to fish out the culprits.
The EFCC had accused Oduah of misappropriating the sum of N7.9 billion while serving as minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Other defendants are Gloria Odita, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Tip Top Global Resources Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited and a foreign construction company.
They were charged with conspiracy and money laundering, as well as maintaining anonymous bank accounts.